FINA World Cup Toronto

Josh Sorensen

This past weekend the Halifax Trojans had two swimmers and two graduates of the program compete at the FINA World Cup in Toronto. This was the first meet of its kind to be held in Canada in over 10 years with a select group of Canadians being invited to compete against the worlds best. In attendance were multiple olympic medalists, world champions and world record holders. In total, 450 elite athletes descended upon the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre to compete at the premier pool in the country.


The two swimmers currently competing for the club, Keilen Bellis and Julie Nolan-McCarthy, performed exceptionally well. Bellis swam in the 100 Breaststroke scoring a new best time of 1:03.89, the time moving him into 3rd all time for Nova Scotia swimmers in his age group (15-17) and less than half a second away from the record. The time also came in more than two seconds faster than his former best. His 100 Individual Medley of 1:00.60 also vaults him to 3rd all-time in his age group. It was only his second time racing the 100 IM and the first time in over two years. 


Nolan-McCarthy swam 4 individual events, each to a great deal of success. In her 100 Breaststroke, she broke the 15-17 provincial record with a 1:10.25, slipping under Marion Synishin’s mark of 1:10.36 from 2021. The time also saw Julie take more than two seconds off her personal best. Both her 50 and 200 Breaststroke swims moved her into 2nd place in the category with a 32.87 and 2:32.11 and within a second of both records, all held by Synishin. All three swims are the fastest ever from a 15 year old from Nova Scotia, topping previous marks set by Carwai Seto in the 80's. Carwai Seto ended up competing for Taiwan at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Lastly, in her 100 IM Julie swam the fastest time ever by any Nova Scotian, 1:05.75, setting both the 15-17 age group record as well as the Senior Open record for all age groups. 


Former Trojan swimmers Sophie Rooney and Isabelle Melanson were there competing for their current university teams, Acadia and Ottawa respectively. Both girls put up excellent showings with Sophie racing her way to three new personal bests with two of them being Acadia school records (100 and 200 Backstroke).  Isabelle was able to swim her way to two new personal bests in the 50 and 200 Backstroke along with her second fastest ever 100 back.


As well as outstanding performances, the swimmers were able to take many experiences and memories away from the meet like watching some of the fastest times in the world including a World Junior Record set in the 400m Free by Canadian phenom Summer MacIntosh and the World Record set in the 1500m Free by legendary swimmer Katie Ledecky. 


For Keilen the experience was an introduction to seeing some of the fastest swimmers in the world up close and on deck. Getting to watch some of the fastest breaststrokers in the world, such as Nic Fink, opened his eyes to the world of elite swimming. Learning how many talented swimmers there are in the sport and getting to race next to them or warm up alongside them was motivating and inspirational. 


Julie remarked on the individualistic aspects of the sport and the contrast amongst swimmers. Despite many of the top swimmers racing and competing in the same events at a world class level, their warm-ups, on-deck routines and personalities varied greatly. Watching them up close and getting to see what goes on behind-the-scenes gave her the insight into how there are many ways to the same goal and it's often about finding what works best for you.



Favorite Race:

Keilen Bellis: Men’s 200 IM - American National Teamer Shaine Casas led from start to finish, getting out quick with a scintillating first 100 he was able to hold on and win by over two seconds, garnering a personal best 1:50.37 in the process. The swim now puts him #2 performer of all-time in the event behind Ryan Lochte, the world record holder in both the Short and Long Course 200 IM. We’ll look to see Casas go for the record this weekend in the next World Cup stop in Indianapolis or in December at Short Course Worlds in Melbourne, Australia.


Julie Nolan-McCarthy: Women’s 200 Breast - The 200 Breast was a very competitive race with the top four only being seperated by about 2 seconds. World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Lily King took the race out fast, racing to a one second lead over the field by the first 100. She was able to hold on to that lead as she ultimately took the win with two Canadians Canadian National Teamers, Sydney Pickrem and Kelsey Wog, taking up the other podium positions.




Keilen Bellis

100 Breast - 1:03.89 (29.81-34.08) - 28th

100 IM - 1:00.60 - 42nd


Julie Nolan-McCarthy

200 Breast - :2:32.11 (33.99-38.57-39.86-39.69) - 15th

100 IM - 1:05.75 - 33rd

100 Breast - 1:10.25 (33.03-37.22) - 19th

50 Breast - 32.87 - 17th


Isabelle Melanson

50 Back - 29.80 - 33rd

100 Back - 1:04.39  (30.99-33.40) - 33rd

200 Back - 2:18.95 (32.17-34.96-35.87-35.95) - 26th


Sophie Rooney

50 Back - 29.40 - 28th

100 Back - 1:02.24 (30.63-31.61) - 23rd

200 Back - 2:11.51 (31.23-32.80-33.58

Full meet results can be found here